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Can You Wash Cats With Dish Soap – Is It Safe?

Can You Wash Cats With Dish Soap – Is It Safe?

Most cat owners don’t have a specific pet shampoo for their cats, and cats are known for not liking baths or water. The problem is that human shampoos aren’t exactly safe for use on cats, so when your feline friend needs a bath, you might be in a bind. When it comes to that first bath, and sometimes many more, pet owners find themselves wondering: can you wash cats with dish soap?

Yes, you can wash cats with non-toxic dish soaps. Dish soap is gentle, easy to use, and very effective for lifting oils, dirt, contaminants, and grease from your cat’s skin and fur. However, it’s not a good idea to use dish soap on cats with known skin disorders or open wounds and scratches.

Here’s what you need to know about using soap to wash your cat, using dish soap, and how to tell what soaps are safe to use.

Is It Safe To Wash Your Cat With Dish Soap

It’s generally considered safe to wash your cat with dish soap since it tends to be reasonably mild, but there are some things to consider. Da

wn is usually recommended over other soaps since the manufacturer designs the soap for wild animals in emergencies, which keeps the soap gentler and the number of possible irritants low.

However, almost any dish soap labeled non-toxic should be safe to use on your cat.

It’s also important to consider the scent of the soap. Remember that cats have a much stronger sense of smell than you do, so a light, pleasant scent for you may be overpowering and upsetting to your cat. Try for an unscented soap or a soap with a very subtle scent.

It’s also essential to avoid scents that are known to be toxic or irritate cats. That means no lavender or lemon-scented dish soaps.

Choosing a gentle and unscented option will help your cat feel more comfortable with the process. They might never like baths, but you can help ensure the soap isn’t their least favorite part.

Can I Wash My Cat With Dish Soap To Get Rid Of Fleas

Washing your cat with dish soap might help with fleas, but you probably won’t be able to get rid of them with a single bath. Dish soap also won’t effectively kill any flea eggs or larva, which means that you may have a fresh flea infestation in a few days just from those fleas growing up.

It’s much better to use a specialized flea shampoo, a flea comb, and other preventative measures, like flea collars, to help deal with flea infestations.

Is Dawn Dish Soap Safe For Cats

Yes, Dawn dish soap is a very safe brand for cats. However, some of the scents Dawn uses can irritate cats, which may make them more irritated or frightened during a bath. It’s a good idea to try and find unscented Dawn, Dawn with a gentler scent that is less likely to irritate cats.

How To Wash A Cat With Dish Soap

Washing a cat should be done as quickly as possible. The longer your cat is in the bath, the more likely they will get chilled or panicked, especially as kittens.

1. Run a warm bath in the sink.

The water should be just a few inches deep and feel warm but not hot to the touch.

2. Place your cat in the bath.

Cats will likely try to get out of the water, so you will probably have to hold them. Having help can make this easier. Make sure to avoid getting any water in your cat’s ears, eyes, or nose.

3. Use a small amount of dish soap on your cat’s fur.

A very small amount of soap, dime-sized or less, is enough to wash your cat. Work the soap through their fur with the help of the warm water, using the lather to tell where you’ve washed

4. Rinse your cat.

Using your hands or a small cup, scoop water over your cat to start rinsing them. If the water is very soapy, you can also open the sink drain and use the faucet; monitor the temperature to ensure it’s not too cold or too warm.

5. Dry and release your cat.

Use a soft towel or blanket to help your cat get dry. They don’t need to be perfectly dry but try to make sure they aren’t more than damp since it’s easy for wet cats to get chilled while they dry. Once you’ve got your cat as dry as you can, release them.

Chances are your cat will hide for a while until they’ve groomed themselves dry and feel a little more confident. That’s okay; let your cat take their time and try not to seek them out until they are ready to come out on their own.

What Soap Is Safe For Cats

Knowing what soap is safe for your cat is especially important if you’re going to bathe them often, but even cat owners who never plan to wash their cats should know what options are safe.

Dish soap is a good option, as are cat soaps designed for felines.

Soaps and shampoos made for people, dogs, or other pets aren’t good options. The PH of these soaps isn’t quite suitable for your cat’s fur and skin, and ingredients in the soaps may be toxic to your cat. Since your cat is likely to groom itself after being washed, soaps need to be safe for external use and minor ingestion by cats.

What Can I Use To Wash My Cat At Home

If your cat needs a little extra help staying clean, you can use plain water to wash your cat. A true bath may not be needed, just a rubdown with a damp washcloth.

For cats that are slightly greasy but don’t need a full bath, you can bathe them with warm water and a small amount of diluted apple cider vinegar. Just be prepared that your cat probably won’t like the scent of the vinegar.

Dish soap is a good option if you need a stronger cleaner. Don’t use human soaps or shampoos, dog shampoo, or laundry detergent to wash your cat.

Lastly, specialized cat shampoos are probably the best option, but they are also the most expensive.

Things To Consider

Most cats don’t need to be bathed regularly. Cats do a good job of keeping their skin and fur clean on their own, and bathing them too often can cause skin problems like dander and rashes.

If your cat suddenly stops bathing themselves, that may be a sign that something is wrong medically. It’s a good idea to get in touch with your vet to help ensure your cat is healthy and that any problems are addressed as soon as possible.

Remember that your cat is likely more temperature-sensitive than you are and will get cold easier than you do. That means that bathwater can’t be too cold or too hot, or you might make bath time harder for your cat.

When possible, bathing alternatives are usually better for cats than a full-on bath. A damp rag or washcloth can do a lot more than you’d expect, especially if your cat lets you massage it through their fur.

Especially greasy fur may also be a sign that your cat’s diet isn’t right for them. You may want to consult with a vet on alternatives to improve your cat’s skin and fur health instead of managing grease with bathing.